Sunday, April 18, 2010

Heads and Najib Wins, Tails and Samy Loses

Has the BN coalition now revealed its true colours? Are we seeing what has always been its true character or is the coalition actually entered a new phase in its history? It’s hard to deny the fact that the main component parties – especially MCA and MIC were in a serious downward spiral prior to March 2008. That outcome, especially in the case of the MIC, revealed exactly how corroded and diseased the party had become by virtue of its own misdeeds. The MCA wasn’t far behind the MIC in having lost its credibility. We have seen both these component parties of the BN continue to desperately struggle to find some sliver of good news in cleaning up their internal mess.

For what it’s worth, the MIC’s recent trials and tribulations confirm one thing: the party is now practically under UMNO directive and is defacto a subsidiary of UMNO. After 2 years of trying to remake itself, we find that the party may actually have regressed even further and plagued with more chaos than either prior to March 2008 or since its much publicised attempts at a makeover.

While Najib and Muhyiddin did not get the pleasure of seeing Samy Vellu’s grip of the MIC end – yet, Samy’s political impotence relative to UMNO and the BN leadership has become even more blatantly transparent. The ‘slap in the face’ delivered to Samy by Najib/Muyiddin in rejecting Samy’s choice for the Hulu Selangor by-election is just one of the latest piece of evidence that while UMNO – for the time-being anyway – finds it necessary to still have the MIC in its fold as a component party, it (and by extension the Samy bandwagon) has become enough of a liability that Najib and Muhyiddin clearly feel the need to keep Samy (and the MIC) under a very tight leash.

It may seem ironic indeed that after having vetoed Samy’s candidate for Hulu Selangor and having frustrated the local MIC brass there by hand-picking the MIC man for the by-election, Najib is nevertheless raising the stakes on the MIC (and Samy) by insisting that the MIC must deliver Hulu Selangor for the BN. How would you like to be in Samy’s shoes for this problem, eh? You’d think that having undermined Samy and Palanivel by sidelining them and frustrating, if not angering, a significant portion of the MIC loyals, the burden would be on Najib and Muhyiddin (and UMNO) to make sure their hand-picked person delivers the Hulu Selangor seat.

Let me tell you what this reads like to me: If Kamalanathan wins in Hulu Selangor, Najib and Muhyiddin will of course come off smelling like a bunga raya, but if Kamalanathan flops, Samy Vellu’s MIC suffers another blow – and it’s Samy’s MIC that again fails to deliver for Najib and the BN (and there goes another nail into Samy’s political coffin).

The fact that there have been some gestures toward helping clean up Samy’s Maika mess and MIC’s in-fighting simply means the MIC and Samy are made even more politically impotent in BN and made further beholden to Najib. By the way, I’m sure the thought did cross your mind about the timing of Samy’s revelation that Najib will assist in straightening out the in-fighting within MIC.

So what does all this mean for the make-over that MIC has been undergoing? Well, I personally find the implications to be self-evident. Don’t you?

G. Krishnan